Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Certificate: PG
Running Time: 90 minutes
Director: Ron Oliver
Starring: Autumn Reeser, Antonio Cupo, April Telek
Genre: Family, Romance
Country: USA

With the attempted screening of The Boy Who Saved Christmas aborted Movies My Missus Made Me Watch moved quickly on to a film that follows in the footsteps of films like Snakes on a Plane in doing exactly what it says on the tin.

Emily Jones (Reeser) is a reasonably uptight but otherwise good natured City Council employee who is tasked each year with organising Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  When Henry Williams (Cupo) is sent in by the Mayor to help streamline festivities in a way that threatens to change the nature of the parade forever sparks fly as slowly but surely…(as sure as death, taxes and awkward elevator silences) they begin to realise they like one another more than they previously thought.

The title of the film, you’ll not be surprised to hear, is not a spoiler…not in the slightest.  In fact LATTDP runs along the well-well-wellllll trodden path of the Rom-Com with the reliability to schedule of a German transportation system.  It has everything, star-crossed central characters who initially rub each other up the wrong way only to realise they can’t stop thinking about one another.  The misfitting boyfriend/fiancĂ© who is the right amount of obnoxious for them to be easily discarded when the story calls for it yet too obnoxious for the audience to ever buy that there was ever anything in common with the central character.  The returning former flame to throw a last minute spanner in the works only for everything to work out nice again…in a George Fornby kind of way.  I’m not going to apologise if any of these plot points come as a spoiler.  If they do you really should get out a little more often.  It’s the sort of last, unchallenging, bland narrative that makes you wonder why they’d ever bother to make this movie.

It certainly wasn’t because of the calibre of performers.  Autumn Reeser is a seasoned television actor and by no means a bad actor.  She unfortunately gives a performance on par with the script…which is pretty much the problem.  She flatlines from scene to scene quick changing into one bad vintage outfit after another including the pink number that saw John Fitgerald Kennedy’s brain splatter all over it.  It’s distracting, distracting enough to make you think Oh yeah, JFK…I might watch that instead.  Unfortunately I had rewatched Oliver Stone’s conspiracy epic recently and was therefore unable to fall back on Jim Garrison’s crusade for truth.  If Autumn Reeser is bad then Antonio Cupo is worse.  He’s a cross between Chris Noth and Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight) and is useful to have around in case either of them get a slow puncture but there’s zero chemistry between him and Reeser and where she has the outfits to distract the audience from the flatlands of the narrative, his close-ups make you wonder how much mascara does one man have to wear before he’ll get free drinks at Ladies Night?  The answer, the exact amount in Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This is not a terrible movie.  I’ve seen worse, I’ve seen a lot worse but even those movies made you think, made you feel…usually anger…and that’s better than nothing.

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade is bland, unimaginative and so dull that it doesn’t even deserve to be banded along with the one star movies…because they at least evoke an emotional response.


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